CES 2007: Dear Diary…

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I had such high hopes and big plans for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. And yet, within four hours of setting down in Las Vegas, my dreams began to crumble. I wanted to offer you, the readers, more than just constant, mind-numbing blasts of product announcements, so I scheduled more than 40 meetings with a wide variety of vendors between Sunday, January 7 and Wednesday, January 10.

My schedule was so overloaded with meetings though, I never got around to writing much (just the Belkin and Roxio announcements) last week. To correct this, I’m going to go through my CES meetings, taking it day by day, listing off each and every vendor I met with, giving you more insight (hopefully) into the products I saw from companies big and small.


Dear Diary…Day One—Touchdown!

Biggs and I land in Vegas around 3:30 p.m. PT. My first meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at a multi-vendor press event called Digital Experience with JuiceWireless to discuss, and begin taking advantage of, its JuiceCaster technology. <img src="http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/photos. If it works as promised, I'll be able to do instant video updates for CES for CrunchGear as easily as sending a text message.

I briefly speak with Nick Desai, chairman and founder of the company, about the service and how I planned to use it. I do a couple test runs and it works flawlessly. It takes about a minute for video to show up in your MediaBox, but it’s pretty incredible that it works as easily and as well as it does. Unfortunately, this is where my plans start to crumble.

My LG CU500 takes bad video. Really bad. Especially in low-light situations, which is what most of the show is. Oh well. Desai offered me a Nokia to use during the show, but I was convinced I’d be fine with the LG. I’m sure I’m just being hyper-critical about the quality, but I didn’t want readers squinting at a blocky 15-second video trying to figure out exactly what they were looking at. I do plan to work JuiceCaster into my life though. It’s a lot of fun to use.

Walking the floor, I quickly realize that most of the vendors at the event are ones I’m meeting with over the next three days, so there’s little need for me to learn about their products now.

I did stop over at the ALK booth to check out the company’s CoPilot Live 6 GPS software for Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. It now runs on Samsung’s BlackJack in addition to Treo’s 700W, T-Mobile’s Dash and Motorola’s Q. I’ve always been a big fan of products that let you get more use out of the devices you have instead of buying standalone devices for everything. The trouble is add-on products more often than not fall flat and don’t compare favorably with single-function solutions. CoPilot, however, is a perfect example of one that works.

It does an excellent job of taking advantage of the resources available to it: screen size, processing power, battery life and Bluetooth. You get all the comforts of standalone GPS devices and services, except there’s no extra monthly service fee. And getting started is as simple as popping the 1GB miniSD card preloaded with the software and maps into your device.

It’s at this point that I stopped to have my third vodka martini in an hour (it’s now about 8:30) with no more than a bag of cashews from the plane in my stomach. Needless to say, when two women from Dotster.com approached me and two colleagues to talk about their “wares,” I could do little more than spew sarcasm. They explained what Dotster does (domain names, hosting, site design) and that they were the Dotster Dots. Shalena and Yesenia had won a contest to come and represent Dotster at CES. Allowing drunken trollish hordes of bottom-feeding tech journos to ogle me while stuffing their gaping maws with spring rolls and crab cakes doesn’t sound like much of a prize, but they seemed pretty content. And hey, if you need a domain name, I’m sure they’d be happy to sell you one, too.

Tomorrow was going to be a long day (nine back-to-back meetings and then another press event like this) so I went to leave but got flagged down by someone on the way out. Two someones actually. The first was Laplink PCmover.

If you’re upgrading to Vista next month, or you’re just looking to move all your stuff from one PC to another, I can’t recommend Laplink’s solution more. Everything you need is included in the $60 package and is well worth the cost to not deal with the hassles involved with setting up a new PC. Programs, settings, files, folders—just about everything gets transferred. You can even migrate your PC to a new Intel-based Mac computer.


The last stop was a company called ShoZu. It’s a fun, free service that, much like JuiceCaster, lets you get the photos, video and music off your cell phone to share with others. My biggest issue with it is phone support, which is limited to mostly Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets. More phone support is coming, but that doesn’t help anyone right now.

So that’s January 7 in a nutshell. It’s about 9:30 p.m. and I head off to a party being thrown by HP at Pure. There’s a whole room dedicated to Voodoo PC. A partnership I still don’t fully grasp. Dell doesn’t really flaunt its relationship with Alienware, so I don’t get HP’s enthusiasm for its ownership of Voodoo. Meh.

Tomorrow the real hell fun begins, starting at 9:30 a.m. on the Las Vegas Convention Center floor with Seagate.

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